Granola seems to be all the rage these days, particularly when it’s in bar form. There are myriad different brands flying about, each hoping for a bite at an increasingly sizeable pile of health-food dung. Of course, I was merely using the word dung metaphorically, not as a comment on healthy food in general. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since it shows that people are becoming a little more conscious of their health. However, with a surge in demand comes an equivalent increase in price; a single, top-end, granola bar will set one back in the region of £1. Cumulatively, that could end up being a rather high price to pay to maintain one’s health, particularly if one wants such a solution to be delicious. Besides, granola bars are, as you shall soon find out, incredibly simple to make.
I’ve finally given in and joined the vast swarm of food bloggers and enthusiasts in their collective drool. Pinterest has become my mistress. You will find me there, in a stupor, pinning as many of the most delicious looking posts from WordPress as I can before being forced to cease my efforts due to extreme dehydration. Kaa, the python found in the writings of Rudyard Kipling, would have been only too proud of Pinterest’s aptitude for hypnotism. If you wish to follow my pins you need only click on the relevant button in the left hand column. One can’t help but wonder how long it’ll be before frugalfeeding embraces Facebook, the final member of the food blogging triumvirate.
These granola bars were made with a very keen sense that they should be extremely healthy. Relative to shop bought granola bars they contain very little refined sugar, with most of it coming from the fruit. However, it was more important that these bars should contain as little fat as possible, let alone the abhorrent stuff found in butter. As such, a little rapeseed oil seemed as though it would make a fantastic replacement and indeed it did. You see, rapeseed has relatively little saturated fat and is crammed full of omega-3. Indeed, even when compared to olive oil it comes up trumps – though it doesn’t quite manage to hold a candle to the taste of the latter. Anyway, this seemed to work rather well, though butter would perhaps make a slightly softer bar. The sacrifice is wholly acceptable, though don’t let me stop you adding butter if you so wish.
Chewy Granola Bars
• 200g porridge oats
• 300g dried fruit or nuts, these contained raisins, dates, apricots and almonds
• A pinch of salt
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• 2 tbsp ground almonds
• 100g caster or granulated sugar
• 4 tbsp golden syrup, corn syrup will do
• A dash of water
• 3-4 tbsp rapeseed oil, vegetable oil or melted butter will do
1. Grease a suitably sized cake tin, mine was roughly 20cm by 10cm, and heat the oven to 180C. Mix together the porridge oats, fruit, nuts, salt, cinnamon and ground almonds.
2. Melt the golden syrup and sugar over a medium heat, add a little splash of water just to bring it all together. Remove from the heat once the mixture has turned clear. Tip the molten into the dry, mix thoroughly and add enough oil to bring it all together. Press this firmly into the baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes.
3. Once golden brown remove the granola from the oven. Allow to cool completely before turning out. Cut into the desired size and enjoy with a strong coffee, or on the go.
Cost: Oats, as well you know, are a ridiculously cheap ingredient. Indeed, the only expense in this recipe is the fruit, but if you shop wisely this shouldn’t set you back too much either. In total, these granola bars can easily be made for roughly £1.90 – that’s around 7 or 8 times cheaper than anything like these could be bought for in a shop.